FileMaker 13 SQL – What is it?

Posted by Justin Hesser on March 10, 2014

One of the most talked about features of FileMaker 12 when it launched in April 2012 was the inclusion of the ExecuteSQL (Structured Query Language). FileMaker 13 has improved the tool with increased functionality.

First off, it is important to note a few things. SQL has been a part of FileMaker since version nine. It is a process that allows databases to perform a "Find Request" as Filemaker developers call it. However, it is not done with a visual reputation of a database like using a relationship graph. It is widely used in most other database platforms and is completely text based.

SQL databases can be used as data sources in FileMaker's relationship graph, thus allowing the developer to create new layouts based on the SQL database, create, edit, and delete SQL records via FileMaker layouts and functions and reference SQL fields in FileMaker calculations and script steps. It is a cross-platform relational database application.

In addition to language for querying a database, SQL provides statements for performing data manipulation, which allow you to add, update, and delete data. SQL also provides statements for performing data definition. These statements allow you to create and modify tables and indexes.

The ExecuteSQL calculation function simplified the process by making it possible for users to perform many tasks without accessing the Relationship Graph. Previously, developers used plugins to expose the SQL underpinnings of FileMaker.

The function also means data queries can be made even when there is no specific layout. This reduces complexity and allows users to pull data independently of the layout. Information can be retrieved without creating any kind of relationship.